legal name change

How do I Change My Name or My Child’s Name

Wondering how to change your name? Or maybe you’ve decided to change your child’s legal name? The good news is these processes are not too difficult, and we can help you with both. However, keep in mind there are a few differences between changing your own name as an adult and changing your child’s name.

Let’s start by talking about changing your child’s name.

How to Change Your Child’s Name

The first and most important step is to make sure both parents are in agreement with the name change. This generally makes the process go smoother. If they aren’t in agreement, other things may come into play such as who is the primary guardian of the child. 

Assuming both parents agree to a name change, the next step is to submit a Petition for Change of Name for the child, which we can help you with. Once submitted, you will be given a court date between 6 and 12 weeks after the submission. 

If the court approves the name change, it will issue a “decree.” The decree changes your child’s name. 

So to summarize:

  1. Parents fill out the forms together
  2. Have a lawyer review your forms
  3. Make 3 or more copies of the forms
  4. Submit the forms to the court clerk
  5. Publish the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name
  6. Go to the court hearing
  7. Receive the Decree Changing Name from the court

To change your own name, the process is a little different, but still very similar. 

How to Change Your Own Name

At a high level, there are 3 main reasons why people change their names. They:

  1.  Get married
  2. Get divorced and want to revert back to their maiden name
  3.  Just want a new legal name

Start the process by submitting several documents with the court clerk:

  • A name change form
  • The order to show cause to change your name
  • A decree to change your name

Similar to changing the name of a child, we recommend having us review your documents before you submit. You don’t want to waste your time and money submitting something that has errors or missing information. 

Assuming everything is correct, the judge will usually grant you the new legal name. 

So the process isn’t too difficult, but it is time-consuming between filling out the paperwork, submitting to the court and waiting for a decision. 

Before submitting, keep a few things in mind. 

Things to Keep in Mind Before You Change Your Name

You can’t change it to anything  – Don’t plan on changing your name to a celebrity, using numbers, punctuation marks, a trademarked name or something offensive. Those won’t be approved, plus you’d probably regret it down the road anyway. 

Divorce and marriage are the easiest times to get a name change– This change is almost expected during these events in your life. If you are choosing to change your name without one of these events supporting it, the process may take a little longer and will probably involve more paperwork. 

Ready to get started on the name change form for you or your child? We’re here for you, just click here to contact Von Esch Law today.

Courtesy of Cuselleration